People often ask me if I have a record. I do not. I am then urged to record one. This may happen sometime in the not too too distant future. It mostly comes down to money and other resources. It also has to do with the fact that I’m pretty picky about this whole music thing. Don’t get me wrong, I like lots and lots of music. If I wasn’t super broke right now I’d be out every day and night seeing music, because there’s so much in this city to love. The thing is, if I had my money back from every time I spent $$ on some band’s CD only to find out it was mediocre unlistenable quasi-trash, because they just dashed something off to have something to sell at shows, I wouldn’t be so broke. I don’t love the ‘just have something to sell’ ideal. It feels like a scam. Perhaps it mostly comes down to the fact that what it takes to make a good live performance and what it takes to make a good record are simply not the same thing. Not in the same class of things. It is a very different process, a very different product, and it requires very different skills and considerations. So if you woo an audience with your legitimately amazing performance and then sell them a piece of garbage CD for 5 or 10 or 15 bucks, that you made in your basement in 5 hours, I say that’s a scam.
By way of counter-example, a (decidedly non-exhaustive) list of albums that are NOT a waste of money and have been made with the kind of love and attention I applaud and admire are:
These are all great pieces of work. The type of thing to aspire to. Art. And until I have the ability to do something that measures up to these examples, I will not have a comprehensive recording that I am willing to attach a price tag to. Period.
Meanwhile, however, it’s not like I have no recordings. It’s not even true that I have no recordings on the internet. But these, of course, are all free. They are not all in the same place, so you’ll have to do a little work if you want to collect them. And you’ll have to get past the $0.00 price tag which strangely seems to give people pause.
Chris Michael and The Internet:
http://soundcloud.com/eatthatguitarchrismichael – A soundcloud page where I post recordings I make with an iPad. I haven’t had a chance to make one of these recently, but I have been working on the next addition. A story song about the robbery of a liquor store. Check it out, download what’s there for free. Come back and check for updates.
http://eatthatguitarchrismichael.bandcamp.com/album/mis-cel-la-ny – A bandcamp page with 6 older recordings. Some are songs I play a lot still today. Some not so much. This is a prime example of the type of record I would get upset about if it were sold at a show. But it is available for free download.
http://niallconnolly.bandcamp.com/track/child-is-a-child – This is actually $0.99, but that doesn’t go to me, and you can in fact stream it for free and spend the dollar if you like it. It’s a song I contributed to the aNIALLated project that I, like so many of the other participants feel very proud to be a part of. I think you should seriously consider buying all of Niall Connolly’s records, just so you can listen to this project and feel like you’re in on the fun. I played all the instruments on this tune, E.W. Harris patiently recorded, mixed it and helped me get a halfway decent performance through the use of his impressive ears and the production of both coffee and whisky.
There are also a bunch of videos out there if you’re more the visual type. Many of them can be found right here:
There are even other recordings not available in these places which, as I mention on the about page, I will email to you upon request.
* This isn’t out yet, but it will be what I claim it is. A great record.
**Some may argue that Pat’s record is actually an exception to my claim that great live performance does not add up to a great record. I would suggest that these people haven’t noticed things like the extra vocals on Magic Cup, listened at all to Civilized Man, or noticed the smattering of drums, bass, and rhodes throughout the record which were not usually present in Pat’s jaw-droppingly amazing two piece live performances around the time this record was made. Not to mention the fact that there is some nice tight editing between songs, which was a thoughtful touch, or that it is recorded really well, and sounds crazy warm and close and intimate. All of which is harder to do then you might imagine. Everything in here seems to have a purpose. It is a thoughtfully made record. I will admit, however, that some people are just so incredibly good that you can simply press record and stop and have a great record. Pat is, in fact, one of these people. I am not.